Glenda Vander Kam has taught Art at Calvin Christian High School for many years. Her students are routinely asked to show their art work in local galleries. She recently shared her goals as an Art teacher with the Connecting Faith & Learning Blog.
“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.” – Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water
I approach my teaching with a specific set of goals in mind. I use lessons that teach elements and principles of art and in each class, I expose my students to many types of media, styles and forms of art. I allow my students to work with many types of media, styles and forms of art and share artwork from many artists. I intentionally discuss the lifestyles, motivations, and contributions of those artists with my students. I also want to make sure that I introduce them to artists who share a Christ centered worldview. For instance, the Christian artist Anneke Kaii is an artist that I extensively use as an example through her books and images for daily devotions. Not only do I share the devotional but I spend time discussing the elements and principles of art she uses.
As an Art teacher, I want to communicate to the students that art is more than the skills being taught – it is one of the ways they can glorify God. I strive to teach the elements and principles of art and apply those to many media, styles, and forms of art. In the end, I want my students to develop their artistic talents to glorify God.